Eye Spy: Vogue Fashion Editors Tell Their Stories in HBO Documentary

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By Stephanie Murg Comment

Vogue is going all out for its 120th anniversary. Following a triumphant turn on the big screen in R.J. Cutler’s 2009 The September Issue, the magazine is out with a stunning coffee table book that celebrates the work of legendary Vogue fashion editors such as Grace Coddington (who is having quite a year), Polly Mellen, Carlyne Cerf de Dudzeele, and Babs Simpson. These behind-the-scenes figures also take center stage in a new documentary, In Vogue: The Editor’s Eye, now airing on HBO.

Produced and directed by docu-maestros Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato, the film is a feast of interviews about famous Vogue images (Mellen steals the show with a moving recollection of her now-famous 1981 shoot with Richard Avedon, a naked Nastassia Kinski, and a Burmese python) and musings on the slippery role of a fashion editor, all artfully combined with a running chronology of the magazine through the ages, including the servicey Mirabella interregnum of 1971-1988. “The people who are responsible for the fashion images are the fashion editors,” says a Prada-clad Anna Wintour. “They have always been our secret weapon, so it seemed to me that we could celebrate Vogue, and also, at the same time, celebrate these great editors.”